November 27, 2020

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All the New Fantasy Books Arriving in October!

16 min read
Head below for the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in October! Keep...

Head below for the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in October!

Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. You can also find horror titles scheduled for 2020 here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Note: Release dates are subject to change.

 

WEEK ONE (October 6)

The Midnight Circus—Jane Yolen (Tachyon)

Welcome to the Midnight Circus―and watch your step. The dark imaginings of fantasy icon Jane Yolen are not for the faint of heart. In these sixteen brilliantly unnerving tales and poems, Central Park becomes a carnival where you can―but probably shouldn’t―transform into a wild beast. The Red Sea will be deadly to cross due to a plague of voracious angels. Meanwhile, the South Pole is no place for even a good man, regardless of whether he is living or dead. Wicked, solemn, and chilling, the circus is ready for your visit―just don’t arrive late.

Over the Woodward Wall—A. Deborah Baker (Tordotcom Publishing)

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework—without complaint, without fuss, without prompt. Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable. They live on the same street. They live in different worlds. On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under—an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures. And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

A Wild Winter Swan—Gregory Maguire (William Morrow)

Following her brother’s death and her mother’s emotional breakdown, Laura now lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in a lonely townhouse she shares with her old-world, strict, often querulous grandparents. But the arrangement may be temporary. The quiet, awkward teenager has been getting into trouble at home and has been expelled from her high school for throwing a record album at a popular girl who bullied her. When Christmas is over and the new year begins, Laura may find herself at boarding school in Montreal. Nearly unmoored from reality through her panic and submerged grief, Laura is startled when a handsome swan boy with only one wing lands on her roof. Hiding him from her ever-bickering grandparents, Laura tries to build the swan boy a wing so he can fly home. But the task is too difficult to accomplish herself. Little does Laura know that her struggle to find help for her new friend parallels that of her grandparents, who are desperate for a distant relative’s financial aid to save the family store.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue—V.E. Schwab (Tor Books)

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

The Bladebone (Khorasan Archives #4)—Ausma Zehanat Khan (Harper Voyager)

Armed with the powerful sorcery of the Bloodprint and supported by the Talisman, the oppressive One-Eyed Preacher is on the verge of conquering Ashfall, the Black Khan’s capital in the west. Yet not all is lost for Arian, Sinnia and the Council of Hira. If these brave female warriors can uncover the secrets of an ancient magic weapon known as the Bladebone, they can defeat the Preacher and crush his cruel regime. Neither Arian and Sinnia, nor their allies, the Mages of Khorasan, know the Bladebone’s whereabouts, and not all may survive the search to uncover it. Pursued by a nefarious enemy aligned with the Preacher, they become separated, each following a different path. Then, in their darkest hour, unexpected help appears. But is the Khanum of Black Aura a friend or foe? Arian may discover the answer too late. When the secret of the Bladebone is finally revealed, the knowledge comes at a devastating price for Arian. As the capital falls, only Hira, home of the Companions, stands in the way of the Preacher’s victory. While the Companions rise to defend their Citadel from enemies outside and within, Arian must face off in a cataclysmic battle with the Preacher that pits the powers of the Bloodprint against the Sana Codex. For those who survive, Khorasan will never be the same.

The Archive of the Forgotten (Novel from Hell’s Library #2)—A.J. Hackwith (ACE)

The Library of the Unwritten in Hell was saved from total devastation, but hundreds of potential books were destroyed. Former librarian Claire and Brevity the muse feel the loss of those stories, and are trying to adjust to their new roles within the Arcane Wing and Library, respectively. But when the remains of those books begin to leak a strange ink, Claire realizes that the Library has kept secrets from Hell—and from its own librarians. Claire and Brevity are immediately at odds in their approach to the ink, and the potential power that it represents has not gone unnoticed. When a representative from the Muses Corps arrives at the Library to advise Brevity, the angel Rami and the erstwhile Hero hunt for answers in other realms. The true nature of the ink could fundamentally alter the afterlife for good or ill, but it entirely depends on who is left to hold the pen.

 

WEEK TWO (October 13)

The Midnight Bargain—C. L. Polk (Erewhon)

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling. In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss… with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan. The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

Ring Shout—P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom Publishing)

In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up. Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?

The Once and Future Witches—Alix E. Harrow (Orbit)

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters—James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna—join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote—and perhaps not even to live—the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky)—Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press)

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

White Trash Warlock—David R. Slayton (Blackstone)

Not all magicians go to schools of magic. Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has been a curse, hindering friendships, worrying his backwoods family, and fueling his abusive father’s rage. Years after his brother, Bobby, had him committed to a psych ward, Adam is ready to come to grips with who he is, to live his life on his terms, to find love, and maybe even use his magic to do some good. Hoping to track down his missing father, Adam follows a trail of cursed artifacts to Denver, only to discover that an ancient and horrifying spirit has taken possession of Bobby’s wife. It isn’t long before Adam becomes the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, save his sister-in-law, and learn the truth about his father, Adam will have to risk bargaining with very dangerous beings… including his first love.

The Emperor’s Wolves (Wolves of Elantra #1)—Michelle Sagara (Mira Books)

Multiple races carefully navigate the City of Elantra under the Dragon Emperor’s wing. His Imperial Wolves are executioners, the smallest group to serve in the Halls of Law. The populace calls them assassins. Every wolf candidate must consent to a full examination by the Tha’alani, one of the most feared and distrusted races in Elantra for their ability to read minds. Most candidates don’t finish their job interviews. Severn Handred, the newest potential recruit, is determined to face and pass this final test—even if by doing so he’s exposing secrets he has never shared. When an interrogation uncovers the connections to a two-decade-old series of murders of the Tha’alani, the Wolves are commanded to hunt. Severn’s first job will be joining the chase. From the High Halls to the Tha’alani quarter, from the Oracles to the Emperor, secrets are uncovered, tensions are raised and justice just might be done…if Severn can survive.

The Raven Lady (Faery Rehistory #2)—Sharon Lynn Fisher (Blackstone)

In the aftermath of Ireland’s battle with her ancient enemies, Queen Isolde orders her cousin, smuggler Duncan O’Malley, to assume the throne of fairy as King Finvara. He’s a fish out of water when it comes to nurturing the alliance between Ireland’s mortal and fairy peoples. And the queen wants him to wed the daughter of Ireland’s enemy, the king of Icelandic shadow elves, to help keep the peace. But the Irish think of the elves as goblins, and Finvara refuses. Elven princess Koli, affronted by the king’s rejection—along with his decision to bring her to court as little more than a captive—vows vengeance. Shortly after her arrival, she uncovers a plot that would bring swift satisfaction. A dark and powerful fairy lord, Far Dorocha, wants to take Finvara’s crown and lead both the fairy and elven people to war against the Irish. And he wants Koli to help him. It’s the perfect setup for revenge, but Koli soon discovers that Finvara’s not the haughty lord she believed him to be. And as she navigates treacherous waters inside the court, she gets glimpses of the magic and passion that have been slumbering inside her. She must choose a side in the new battle for Ireland—will it be the fearsome father she has served for nearly a century, or the fairy king who has helped awaken her to herself?

His Dark Materials: Serpentine—Philip Pullman(Knopf BFYR)

The world-changing events of The Amber Spyglass are behind them, and Lyra and Pan find themselves utterly changed as well. In Serpentine, they journey to the far North once more, hoping to ask the Consul of Witches a most urgent question. This brand-new story, a beguiling must-read for Pullman fans old and new, is a perfect companion to His Dark Materials and a fascinating bridge to The Book of Dust.

Kitty’s Mix-Tape (Kitty Norville #15)Carrie Vaughn (Tachyon)

Kitty Norville still can’t stay away from trouble—of the supernatural kind. Everyone’s favorite werewolf DJ is here to mix it up just one last time. Here you will find, or will be lucky to newly discover, the irrepressible Kitty Norville with friends and enemies alike: Rick the vampire; Jessi Hardin, paranormal detective; Kitty’s werewolf husband Ben; Cormac, the bounty hunter; and the ever-villainous Dux Bellorum. These irresistible tales are full of unpredictable twists and turns: lupines experimenting with astronomy, a cheating boxer with preternatural strength, and vampires arriving from the Philippines.

 

WEEK THREE (October 20)

The Fourth Island—Sarah Tolmie (Tordotcom Publishing)

Huddled in the sea off the coast of Ireland is a fourth Aran Island, a secret island peopled by the lost, findable only in moments of despair. Whether drowned at sea, trampled by Cromwell’s soldiers, or exiled for clinging to the dead, no outsiders reach the island without giving in to dark emotion. Time and again, The Fourth Island weaves a hypnotic pattern with its prose, presaging doom before walking back through the sweet and sour moments of lives not yet lost. It beautifully melds the certainty of loss with the joys of living, drawing readers under like the tide.

Among The Beasts & Briars—Ashley Poston (Balzer + Bray)

Cerys is safe in the Kingdom of Aloriya. Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: When she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions a small and irritating fox from the royal garden and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

God Storm (Shadow #2)—Coco Ma (Blackstone)

In the kingdom of Axaria, a darkness has fallen. After defeating the evil mother who summoned an immortal demon to kill her, newly coronated Queen Asterin Faelenhart should have every reason to celebrate. Her kingdom is safe, forbidden magic eradicated, and her friends are alive. Except Asterin’s triumph has come at a devastating cost—forced to choose between a lifelong friend and true love, she’s lost both. But the shadows in Axaria have begun to stir once again, and no one is more starved for vengeance than Asterin. Yet it soon becomes clear that the shadows plaguing her kingdom are just the beginning. Another realm coexists with the mortal world—the beautiful, nightmarish Immortal Realm ruled by the wicked God of Shadow, King Eoin. When their paths entwine, Asterin realizes that Eoin possesses exactly what—and who—she seeks most. And the fates of all those that she holds dear—Orion, her missing Guardian; Luna, the friend she could not save; Harry, the demon who saved them all; and Quinlan, her beloved broken prince—ultimately rest in the god’s hands. But in a world of magic, not everyone is always as they seem. When shocking discoveries threaten everything and everyone that Asterin has sworn her life to protect, she won’t be the only person forced to make a choice… a choice that will change the mortal world forever. And maybe even destroy it.

The Last Druid (Fall of Shannara #4)—Terry Brooks (Del Rey)

Since he first began the Shannara saga in 1977, Terry Brooks has had a clear idea of how the series should end, and now that moment is at hand. As the Four Lands reels under the Skaar invasion—spearheaded by a warlike people determined to make this land their own—our heroes must decide what they will risk to save the integrity of their home. Even as one group remains to defend the Four Lands, another is undertaking a perilous journey across the sea to the Skaar homeland, carrying with them a new piece of technology that could change the face of the world forever. And yet a third is trapped in a deadly realm from which there may be no escape. Filled with twists and turns and epic feats of derring-do—not untouched by tragedy—this is vintage Terry Brooks, and a fitting end to a saga that has gathered generations of readers into its fold.

 

WEEK FOUR (October 27)

Dead Lies Dreaming (Laundry Files #10)—Charles Stross (Tordotcom Publishing)

As Wendy hunts down Imp—the cyberpunk head of a band calling themselves “The Lost Boys”— she is dragged into the schemes of louche billionaire Rupert de Montfort Bigge. Rupert has discovered that the sole surviving copy of the long-lost concordance to the one true Necronomicon is up for underground auction in London. He hires Imp’s sister, Eve, to procure it by any means necessary, and in the process, he encounters Wendy Deere. In a tale of corruption, assassination, thievery, and magic, Wendy Deere must navigate rotting mansions that lead to distant pasts, evil tycoons, corrupt government officials, lethal curses, and her own moral qualms in order to make it out of this chase alive.

Northern Wrath (Hanged God #1))—Thilde Kold Holdt (Solaris)

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods. A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim. A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken. The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

The Tower of Fools (Hussite Trilogy #1)—Andrzej Sapkowski (Orbit)

Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a healer, a magician, and according to some, a charlatan. When a thoughtless indiscretion forces him to flee his home, he finds himself pursued not only by brothers bent on vengeance but by the Holy Inquisition. In a time when tensions between Hussite and Catholic countries are threatening to turn into war and mystical forces are gathering in the shadows, Reynevan’s journey will lead him to the Narrenturm—the Tower of Fools. The Tower is an asylum for the mad… or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order. And escaping it, avoiding the conflict around him, and keeping his own sanity will prove more difficult than he ever imagined

People of the City (Maradaine Elite #3)—Marshall Ryan Maresca (DAW)

Corruption and conspiracy have infected the city of Maradaine, from the top levels of power to the very depths beneath the city. Dayne Heldrin and Jerinne Fendall, elite warriors of the Tarian Order, have no idea how close they truly are to the center of the city’s dark secrets. But when they learn that children are going missing, they know they must investigate further—no matter the cost. They are soon joined by others, each with their own reasons for seeking the children. Veranix Calbert, the vigilante known as the Thorn, thinks his enemies are responsible for the missing children. Inspectors Minox Welling and Satrine Rainey fear the disappearing children are tied to corruption in the city Constabulary. Asti and Verci Rynax hope to protect the kids from their streets, one of whom barely escaped the kidnappers. And a mysterious young cloistress seeks to lead each of them deeper down into the depths of enigmas beneath the city, to the dark, unholy cult known as the Brotherhood, and the horrors that are growing within it. The only hope Maradaine might have against the impending darkness is if these champions can work together to protect all the people of the city…

Seven of Infinities (Xuya)—Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)

Vân is a scholar from a poor background, eking out a living in the orbitals of the Scattered Pearls Belt as a tutor to a rich family, while hiding the illegal artificial mem-implant she manufactured as a student. Sunless Woods is a mindship and not just any mindship, but a notorious thief and a master of disguise. She’s come to the Belt to retire, but is drawn to Vân’s resolute integrity. When a mysterious corpse is found in the quarters of Vân’s student, Vân and Sunless Woods find themselves following a trail of greed and murder that will lead them from teahouses and ascetic havens to the wreck of a mindship and to the devastating secrets they’ve kept from each other.

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